Coleman overcomes controversy

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Lynn Coleman was still feeling the strain of a turbulent day before yesterday's opening of the Target Junior Men's and Women's Provincial Championships.

"It was quite stressful for me," he said from Brandon. "I tried to keep our boys calm and they held up."

Coleman coaches his son, Jim, and was told through a third party that the third on the Pembina squad, Burke Nagle, could not make it to the provincials due to "personal family problems" just before leaving for town Wednesday morning.

"I was speechless," Coleman said. "It just floored me."

Coleman then checked his options with the Manitoba Curling Association and asked Reid Carruthers, a former junior men's provincial champ, to replace Nagle, as The Sun reported yesterday.

RUMOURS

"We didn't cut him from the team," Coleman said. "One of the rumours here was that we cut him so we could get Reid in here.

"Do I feel bad for him? Absolutely."

Nagle, 16, declined comment when reached at his Winnipeg home.

With Carruthers at third, Jim Coleman erased a 6-0 deficit to open with a 7-6 comeback victory over Petersfield's Kyle Flett -- stealing four in the 10th end -- at the Brandon Curling Club yesterday.

"Was it ever a big comeback," Lynn said. "Both teams curled really well. It was Reid's first time with the boys and they worked well together. We've got the first game under our belts, now we'll just go out and have some fun the rest of the way and see what happens."

Meanwhile, Wheat City's unseeded Cale Dunbar upset West St. Paul's Ryan Coy 7-5 in their opening match.

"That was the first time I've ever won the first game, actually," said Dunbar, 19, in his fourth provincial appearance. "I had a tough one against (Coy) last year in the first game so this was a little redemption."

Dunbar has hooked up with a former competitor, Travis Brooks, also 19, this season and Brooks is throwing the last brick with Dunbar calling the shots. However, the hometown favourites then dropped their next match to West Kildonan's Travis Hoare 8-5.

Steinbach's top-seeded Dan Kammerlock, Heather's Adam Norget and Deer Lodge's surprising Corey Chambers were at 2-0 heading into the late draw.

On the junior women's side, Pembina's top-ranked Kaitlyn Lawes, La Salle's Calleen Neufeld and Granite's Chelsea Carey were 2-0 before evening play.

Carman's Tracy McCrea moved up to replace skip Sam Owen, who was unable to make it due to other commitments, and opened with a 7-3 upset win over Petersfield's fifth-seeded Rhonda Varnes.


Videos

Photos